How to Spend 48 Hours in Melbourne's Inner South When You're Treating Yourself to a Winter Escape
Enjoy a winter excursion to the seaside historical suburbs of Albert Park and Middle Park.
June 05, 2023
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Melbourne's inner south is home to historic and picturesque locales — not just the annual Formula One Australian Grand Prix. Albert Park and Middle Park contain some of the finest 1930s and 1940s architecture in Melbourne, but it's not all about history. The area is bursting with arts and cultural events, plenty of workshops and activities, heaps of cosy pubs and restaurants and cute cafes.
We've teamed up with the City of Port Phillip to build this 48-hour guide to the area this winter, so you can get the most out of the suburbs before having to head back to reality.
It's Friday arvo and after a week toiling away at your desk, it's finally you-time — by you-time, we mean time to head away for a short mini break to Melbourne's inner south. There are many accommodation options in the locale. For a luxe seaside stay, there's The Hamptons Apartments, for something more boutique you could try the Coppersmith Hotel and for something with a historical flair, head to the Middle Park Hotel. After checking in, head to The Albert Park Hotel in time for happy hour — Monday–Friday from 4–6pm serving $6 selected pots, house wines and prosecco —and pair your beverage with some of the Chinese-inspired eats on the menu like san choi bao, crispy siu yuk pork or sticky lamb or Shandong fish dumplings.
Afterwards, head to the Victorian Wine Centre's Wine Bar for live music every Friday and if you're still peckish the menu features small and large plates to pair with the local vinos and brews on offer. Choose from Nepalese dumplings, calamari and cheese and charcuterie boards.
If you're after something more highbrow, take yourself to Atta where you'll find a modern fine-dining twist on Indian cuisine. Expect delicious tandoori dishes presented in a sleek modern environment matched with a creative wine menu. The menu changes with the seasons and includes choices for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian diners. Options include Jhinga (tempura prawns, garlic-lemon and beetroot aioli, pumpkin puree, kasundi, puffed rice and lemon gels), Samundari jal pari (tandoori-marinated scallops with cauliflower puree, lemon foam, pineapple and cucumber gels), Dal Bukhara with slow-cooked black lentils, infused aromatic spices, coriander butter and cream and many more succulent dishes.
Want to keep with the Indian theme and indulge in some cocktails and dancing? Finish up your night at Mr Brownie. See the city skyline from the rooftop bar, enjoy a tasty tipple (or cheeky curry) at the Curry Pub and have a little boogie at the Boom Boom Room.
Start your day right with a good cup of coffee and a tasty breakfast at the funky Halcyon Days Cafe in Albert Park — keep an eye out for the weekend specials which have included warm winter salad of potato and mortadella with bagna cauda dressing and poached egg.
After breakfast, stretch your legs and head to the Gasworks Art Park to see which artist's work is exhibiting and what shows, festivals, plays or live music are happening. The Gasworks also hosts a farmer's market on the third Saturday of every month for you to stock up on fresh Victorian produce, homemade pastries, bread and cakes and lots of other goodies.
Refuel and grab a sumptuous lunch at Lord Cardigan before indulging in some retail therapy in the many boutique shops along Bridport Street and Victoria Avenue as you make your way down to the seaside. Along the way, stop in for a glass of wine (or two) at neighbourhood wine bar Woodsyard — if you can't wait for dinner there are sharing platters and bigger meals on the menu — before getting to the Albert foreshore.
After you've taken a nice stroll along the water, watch the sunset while enjoying a meal at Pipi's Kiosk. Named for the pipi shells that cover the sand and foreshore, the cosy restaurant is nestled against the Kerferd Road Pier and looks out onto the beach. The contemporary spot serves a standout selection of meals from snacks to mains — plus a fabulous wine list. This isn't a standard beachside kiosk, the menu here is something special — we're talking salt cod croquettes, grilled octopus, kangaroo strip loan with raspberry ketchup and roasted strawberry trifle. If you're still hungry, somehow, head to Bellota Wine Bar and enjoy some small plates paired with a delicious glass of wine before calling it a day.
For your final morning in Melbourne's inner south, jump on over to Leaps and Bounds Cafe for breakfast before walking off yesterday's feasting at Albert Park. Jog, walk or cycle around the lake on the 5km walking track. There are nine picnic areas dotted through the park for you to stop and take a breath while taking in the magnificent views of the city skyline. You can dog-watch all the cute pooches on their daily walk before heading to Middle Park Hotel for a final feed. Then, if you have time, squeeze in one final walk along the foreshore before you have to head back to reality, refreshed and recharged after discovering a new pocket of Melbourne.
Looking to make the most of your next city break? Explore your city this winter with the City of Port Phillip.
Top Image: Jess Cross (Flickr)
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